Fairport’s Cropredy Convention 2011 – Day 2

Day 2 of Cropredy starts much earlier at 12 and, due to a pretty late night yesterday, we were a bit late getting on to the field (by a bit late, read not set up and sitting down until 11.30) and so didn’t get such a good spot as yesterday.  My deckchair appears to be incredibly low so that I have trouble seeing over anyone who sits in front of me.  Being a festival predominately attended by older persons, the chairs in front of you have a tendency to be large and comfortable rather than small and not in the way.

Not much visually interesting today so not many pictures.

More after the gallery…

The line up for day 2 was as follows:

Moore Moss Rutter
The band whose name I can’t say!  I’m fine with “Moore, Moss & Rutter” but “Moore Moss Rutter” always trips me up.  Anyway 3 young guys who won this year’s BBC Young Folk Musician competition.  Playing traditional instruments and a mix of traditional tunes and their own compositions.  Some really excellent music but we got the impression that they were taking it all a little too seriously like they were still performing for a competition rather than at a fun festival.

 The Travelling Band
Play a mix of loud folk rock and more whimsical folk/country.  A little like a more rocked up Fleet Foxes.  They were very good but one of several bands who were a bit too loud and upbeat for the early slot that they had been given (see The Blockheads tomorrow).  Really enjoyed the music but it left me feeling a little violated after the serenity of Moore Moss Rutter and combined with the late night drinking yesterday/early start this morning.

 Steve Tilson and the Durbervilles
This actually appeared to be 2 acts, or possibly 3, with Steve or The Durbervilles leaving the stage at various points for the others to perform on their own.  They also performed a few songs together.  I remember that they were pretty good but can’t remember anything about the performances except that the almost constant changes of people on stage distracted from the music considerably.  Several people were heard to remark that we had paid for 6 people but were only getting however many were currently on the stage.

Charlie Dore
Charlie has an amazing voice.  She is also the only person who was at all interesting during their sound check, preferring to sing her 1, 2s and “yes I can hear that” into the microphone rather than just mumbling or shouting as many people do.  Her backing band The Hula Valley Orchestra were  also excellent.  Beautiful singing and excellent music.

The Dylan Project
Another collaboration between Fairport Convention members and other musicians sees this band performing classic Bob Dylan songs.  They were technically very good but somehow failed to be at all interesting on stage.  Mostly read my book during their act while they provided enjoyable background music.

The Urban Folk Quartet
Were excellent, some very fast and accomplished fiddles, guitars and percussion.  Great music to dance to.  Was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more singing or songs to sing along to.  Sing-a-longs were sadly missing from much of this years festival.  Sung one of their songs in Spanish apparently but we wouldn’t have been able to tell whether they were making any kind of sense or not!

The Coral
Produced some enjoyable but ultimately pretty generic indie rock music.

Seasick Steve
The act everyone had been waiting for.  Seasick Steve was unheard of 4 or 5 years ago despite having played world class music for over 50 years.  Having shot to fame in 2007 thanks to Jools Holland he now has a devoted following, hundreds of whom could be found thronging the stage chanting his name before during and after the set.  Steve himself seems very affected by this and at one point was on his knees bowing to the crowd thanking us for allowing him to perform.

The music itself was very good and similar in style if not content to Hayseed Dixie from yesterday.  Most of the instruments we saw appeared to be home made from guitars and banjos to double bases.  At one point he went to find a girl from the audience and got her up on stage to serenade her.  Had several guests, including someone famous on electric guitar and Steve’s son on washboard.

During the finale of the set he was seen to be playing the cymbals on the drum kit with the neck of his home made guitar (made out of Morris Minor hubcaps apparently).  Not to be outdone, the drummer then started playing the rest of the drumkit with a couple of cymbals that had fallen off when Steve was whacking them with his guitar!

Can’t remember any of the individual songs but the whole performance overall was very enjoyable and well worth staying out in the cold night for.  Possibly because of the huge hype and buildup, the show was perhaps not quite as climactic as expected but still excellent.

After squeezing our way out of the field – Dave always lead us on the quickest route which often involves a detour through campsites and round most of the queue – we headed back to the boat for another drink and some inappropriate music before heading to bed in preparation for the big event tomorrow.

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